Candice Patton has said The CW and Warner Bros. neglected to protect her from racist and hateful fans after she debuted as Iris West on The Flash. At a recent appearance The Open Up Podcast, Patton revealed that she received a constant barrage of online harassment shortly after her debut on the show.
According to the actor, Black women feel differently than white women. “responsibility”For the role and faced “backlash”Fans who “can be racist.”Patton, despite playing Iris in eight seasons, claimed that neither the studio nor the network had taken any steps to protect her from abusers on social media.
“Now people understand how fans can be racist, especially in genre [film and tv], but at the time, it was kind of just like, ‘That’s how fans are, whatever,'”Patton stated. “Even with the companies I was working with, The CW and WB, that was their way of handling it. We know better now.
“It’s unacceptable to treat talent in this way and to allow them to suffer abuse and harassment. In 2014, I didn’t have any support systems. That was not what anyone was watching out for. Every day, it was open to abuse. There weren’t any social media protocols in place that would protect me. They just left all that stuff there.”
“It doesn’t suffice to say “Look at us, We’re so progressive. We checked the box.”” Patton continued. “It’s amazing, but it’s made me feel unsafe around sharks. Although it’s wonderful to be in the sea, I can easily get eaten out here.”The star noted that she needs people in positions of power who understand her experience and the experience of Black women and who can say, “Okay, she does need protection.”
“If you hire minorities of any type, you must be prepared to protect them. We are not protected in the real world. You can’t assume that just because you have put us on a Hollywood set with hair and makeup, we’re safe.” As the harassment worsened while shooting Season 2 of the show, Patton said she contemplated leaving and was “Very unhappy.”
“I still remember feeling like “I can’t do this.” It’s not possible. Patton stated that she doesn’t wish to be here. She remarked, however, that she was still observing how the studio or network did not protect her and how her coworkers treated her equally to her white colleagues.
She said that her colleagues did not help her.” her. “It was a bit like “Yeah, that’s the way fans are,” at the time. Whatever,'” Patton said in the episode.
The performer also alleged she was initially not followed on Instagram by the official The Flash account. “I can remember asking my publicist and I was like, “Do you think you could get?” The Flash account to follow me?'” she recounted. “Back when I cared about that s– and wanted to be included.” Despite feeling unsupported, Patton said she chose to stay because of contractual obligations and her sense of “huge responsibility,” adding, “This character was loved by my fans.”
“It was such a famous casting, such a iconic role that I knew how important it meant to so many people, that I felt a duty to remain in a space and place that was likely very toxic to my mental health.” she explained. However, Patton continued to emphasize the importance of protection, adding that in real life, “If I get pulled over at 2 a.m. in Jackson, Mississippi, by a white cop, do you think he gives a s– that I’m Candice Patton from The Flash? It doesn’t matter.”
“Because the world views us in certain ways, we still need protection. If I walk on a set of stairs and the workers around me are all white, then I’m not protected. While they may not have bad intentions, blind spots are a sign of their incompetence. This can lead to my harm. It has been a learning process for both productions and companies.”
Patton has spoken out about clashing with The CW in the past. In a June 2021 interview with HypeBae, Haley described being “”Fearful to speak out” when she was told by the studio that she would not be reimbursed for using a Los Angeles salon after she failed to find one suitable in Vancouver.
According to the actress, her experiences on The Flash has improved over time. Patton is returning for the series’ ninth season but said she is unsure if the upcoming season will be her last. She is also one of three original cast members, alongside Grant Gustin (and Danielle Panabaker).